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Saturday, September 16, 2023
9:30 - 10:30am (Central time)
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Starts at 10:30am (Central time)
Barbara (Grover) Hennessy, 85, died Sunday, September 10, 2023, at Watkins Manor, Winona, surrounded by her children.
Barbara was born on June 22, 1938, in Winona to Henry and Evelyn Grover and grew up on the family farm in Trempealeau County, Wis. She attended 1st-8th grades at the Maple Wood one room school and graduated from Gale-Ettrick High School in 1956. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma. She taught in Whitehall, Wis., and on June 23, 1962, married Richard Hennessy at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Galesville, Wis.
Barbara touched many lives as a loving caregiver and devoted volunteer. While raising her own children, she served as a foster parent for infants placed in adoption through Catholic Charities. She spent most of her career as a director of dietary services in three different skilled nursing facilities, St. Anne’s of Winona, Good Shepherd of Rushford, and Chosen Valley of Chatfield. She was a 50-year member of Catholic Daughters of America and held many offices, including regent for Court 191. She was an active member of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, sang in the choir, was a lector, and volunteered at the annual rummage sale and Mardi Gras, and was involved with Perpetual Adoration. She volunteered with the Winona County Historical Society, Winona Community Warming Center for adults experiencing homelessness, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, and Winona Volunteer Services.
Barbara enjoyed dance, jazz, travel and hiking the hills where she grew up, and together with her sister Mary, spent many happy outings picking apples, wild asparagus, berries and mushrooms. Her travels took her to Ireland, Italy and Poland. She believed in showing up for people, rarely missing a birthday, wedding, graduation or other celebration. She was especially proud of her great grandson Will, her grandchildren and nieces and nephews. In the last 16 months of her life, she found great joy at Watkins Manor where she rarely missed an activity and bonded deeply with friends and staff who lovingly welcomed her into their community.
She is survived by her siblings Gloria Wegner of Beaver Dam, Wis., Mary (Tom) Ladwig of Galesville, Wis., and Steve (Pam) Grover of Galesville; her children, Cynthia (Thomas) Serratore, Michael (Linda) Hennessy, Kathryn (Carlo) Arendt, and Stephen (Alison) Hennessy; seven grandchildren, one great-grandson, many nieces and nephews; and many treasured friends.
She was proceeded in death by her parents, Henry and Evelyn Grover; her husband, Richard; her brother Mason; her brother-in-law Vincent Wegner; and her sister-in-law Ellen Hennessy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, September 16, 2023, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 360 Main Street, with visitation at the church one hour before the service. The Very Reverend Mark C. McNea will officiate. Barbara will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Winona.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel, 33005 Stinson Ridge Rd, Houston, MN 55943, or charity of choice.
The family extends great gratitude to those who cared for Barbara, especially the loving staff at Watkins Manor and Winona Health Hospice.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Barbara’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.